Judge dismisses App Store Monopoly lawsuit

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Earlier in the year, Apple had requested U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to dismiss a consumer lawsuit, which claimed that the company has a monopoly over iOS apps.

The plaintiffs claimed that Apple has a monopoly as it doesn’t allow users to buy apps from an ‘aftermarket’ of apps. Apple’s lawyers argued that the company doesn’t set the price for paid apps in the App Store, and charging a price for distribution of products on a platform does not violate antitrust laws. They also argued that there was nothing illegal about a closed system. The lawyer representing seven consumers insisted that if there was no other place to buy apps then Apple is a monopolist.

Judge Rogers didn’t rule on the matter at that time. Bloomberg reports that the judge has dismissed the lawsuit yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, ruled today that the plaintiffs weren’t in a legal position to bring the suit as they hadn’t bought the applications at issue in the case. The complaint can still be amended and refiled, Gonzalez said.

The plaintiffs failed to prove “collective allegations that they have been deprived of lower cost alternatives, paid higher prices for Apple-approved applications, or had their iPhones disabled or destroyed,” Gonzalez wrote. “At a minimum, plaintiffs must allege facts showing that each named plaintiff has personally suffered an injury-in-fact based on Apple’s alleged conduct.” 

The plaintiffs can still amend and refile the case, and that is exactly what they plan to do. The lawyer for the plaintiffs told Bloomberg that he had “no difficulty” refiling the case to meet the judge’s requirements.

“We can add the extra detail very easily” to advance the claim Apple has “cornered the distribution market for software for the iPhone,” he said. 

It’s quite a frivolous lawsuit and I’m surprised that the judge gave the plaintiffs an option to refile the case. Do I want another App Store from where I can buy apps? Sure, but I can’t see how monopoly could be applied to something like the App Store.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

[Via Bloomberg]

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Categories: App Store, Apple News

  • Jimjamurface

    I see how this could be monopolistic in nature, although within the App Store there are usually multiple options available so I’m not sure if that ruins the case. It will be interesting to see where this goes because apple does have a stronghold on the iOS app market.

  • Ronnie

    Apple owns the iPhone! What more really needs to be said.

  • jn

    What if Microsoft decide what Software can be loaded on Windows PCs??? Think there would be a bunch of cries and law suits filed??? Apple PURPOSELY chooses to be monopolisitc by trying to thwart every jailbreak that comes out.

    • RandomGamer342

      Windows has a majority marketshare and it’s available on any hardware following x86 specifications

      iOS is available on the Apple iPhone, is maintained by Apple, uses apple software and services, does not have a a majority marketshare where you can’t logistically pick another option and gives you plenty of choice

      Your point is?…

    • Pacomacman

      IOS has never been an open platform so people buying into the Eco system acknowledge and accept this. Windows is an open platform and if Microsoft decided to change there would understandably be people opposed to that as they could loose their livelihood.

      The App Store was solely responsible for reducing software prices across the board. I don’t think anyone could argue that Apple are anti-competitive. If anything software prices need to rise because very few companies actually make good money developing mobile apps.

  • RandomGamer342

    It’ll end up with them buying a couple of apps from the appstore before filing another lawsuit…